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Re: Work-needing packages report for Sep 6, 2002

On Mon, Sep 09, 2002 at 11:08:34PM +0100, Will Newton wrote:
> > IMHO the mechanisms to assure quality are already in place. I don't think
> > other mechanisms for this particular (non-)problem are needed.
> The idea - to make people who use packages adopt them - is perhaps a good one 
> though. Maybe if orphaned packages came with a clear "Adopt Me" message 
> attached somehow after a certain period, so people who use them will notice 
> the package is not being maintained and perhaps be moved to adopt it.

I have for some time been thinking of writing a script "debselfish", which
goes through your system and displays a warning for each installed package
that is orphaned, or has an ITA, or has had a lot of NMUs, or has open RC
bugs, or has been removed from unstable.  (The general rule is, warn if
there's a risk that the package won't be in the next stable release.)

This way, Debian developers can more easily focus their efforts on packages
they care about (where "packages installed" is a reasonabe approximation
of "packaged cared about"), and regular sysadmins can more easily see when
they should recruit new maintainers for a package, or help to fix a bug,
or maybe look for alternate packages for the same job.

The script should probably have some smarts (or a hardcoded list) for
telling when an old package has been replaced by a newer one, so that
it can usefully be run on a "stable" system.

I don't think I will actually get around to writing such a script, so
I'm hoping to inspire someone else to do it :-)

Richard Braakman
"I sense a disturbance in the force"
"As though millions of voices cried out, and ran apt-get."
  (Anthony Towns about the Debian 3.0 release)

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